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  1. Climate- Calipso science data now available to scientists worldwide

    Publishing date:

    December 1, 2006

    Unlike the mythological figure from which it takes its name, the French-U.S. Calipso mission dedicated to studying clouds and aerosols hasn’t waited 10 years to release its precious information. Less than 1 year after launch, science data gathered by the satellite are already available to the international scientific community.

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  2. A studious start to the year for COROT

    Publishing date:

    December 27, 2006

    After a flawless launch on 27 December, COROT, CNES’s planet-hunting satellite, is now undergoing a series of tests in darkness to make sure it is acclimatizing well to its new environment in space.

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  3. Parasol prepares to enter the dance

    Publishing date:

    October 18, 2004

    Following Demeter in June, Parasol, the second-up in the Myriade microsatellite series, is preparing for launch. Parasol will study the impact of aerosols and how they interact with clouds to give scientists a better understanding of Earth’s climate system.

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  4. Back to the Sun

    Publishing date:

    December 16, 2004

    The Sun and its impact on Earth’s climate is a topic of prime importance. The Picard project was first proposed in 1998 by the aeronomy laboratory of the French national scientific research centre (SA/CNRS). On 3 December, the CNES Board of Directors decided to authorize this project frozen since 30 April 2003, in line with the recommendations of its Science Programmes Committee. It will go live in 2008.

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  5. CryoSat all set to monitor sea ice

    Publishing date:

    August 16, 2005

    Like the ocean, glaciers and sea ice play a key role in climate processes, so we need to monitor them. Europe’s CryoSat satellite is set for launch this autumn to observe the cryosphere and study variations in the polar ice caps. CNES is providing the Doris precise-positioning instrument for this Esa mission.

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  6. COROT’s Christmas gift to CNES teams

    Publishing date:

    December 28, 2006

    The French COROT satellite soared aloft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, today, leaving a 100-metre-long column of flames in its trail on the way to explore new worlds.

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  7. PRISMA programme seeks to acquire expertise in formation flying

    Publishing date:

    June 22, 2006

    2 satellites or more just tens of metres apart, sharing a payload and together constituting an instrument with much greater capability than a single satellite could provide. Such is the tantalizing prospect that formation flying offers for space science. CNES is today taking a major step in this direction through its commitment to the highly innovative Swedish PRISMA1 programme.

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  8. AMINO to probe the origins of life

    Publishing date:

    December 2, 2008

    The 3rd exobiology experiment devised by the LISA laboratory in Créteil, France, supported by CNES, lifted off on board a Russian Soyuz launcher on 26 November. Called AMINO, it aims to study the viability of certain organic molecules in space, like for example those found in comets.

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  9. Planck to look back to the dawn of the Universe

    Publishing date:

    April 20, 2006

    The European Planck satellite to be launched in 2008 aims to map the geometry and composition of the “1st light” of the Universe more precisely than ever before. But before seeking to answer such key cosmological questions, the satellite first has to withstand the extreme cold of outer space.

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  10. T2L2 ready to put Einstein’s theory to the test

    Publishing date:

    November 6, 2008

    The T2L2 instrument on board Jason-2 is working well after a 1st series of tests to compare the DORIS instrument’s clock with atomic clocks here on Earth. Scientists are continuing to calibrate the instrument.

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  11. GOCE to map Earth’s gravity field

    Publishing date:

    March 16, 2009

    The launch of the European Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer satellite (GOCE), initially planned 10 September 2008, is now scheduled for 16 March. Its mission is to observe Earth’s gravity field in order to improve the accuracy of the geoid model, the reference surface used to determine altitudes.

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  12. DECLIC set to show matter as never before

    Publishing date:

    August 31, 2009

    The DECLIC mini-laboratory developed by CNES is scheduled to reach the International Space Station on 25 August, carrying a full set of equipment to study transparent materials and supercritical fluids like water in microgravity.

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  13. Venus Express to launch on November 9

    Publishing date:

    November 7, 2005

    After a launch delay of several days, Venus Express is now all set to go. The European spacecraft dedicated to studying the atmosphere of Venus will launch atop a Soyuz-Fregat vehicle on 9 November from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. CNES is a partner on this mission.

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  14. Columbus soon to enter service

    Publishing date:

    October 24, 2007

    6 December, the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis is set to lift off for the International Space Station (ISS) with a new key element of the giant orbital Meccano set: the European Columbus laboratory.

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  15. Jason-2 all set to take satellite altimetry into higher gear

    Publishing date:

    October 29, 2008

    After 4 months of in-orbit commissioning, Jason-2 has entered the operational phase of its mission. The new ocean-observing satellite offers many improvements compared to its predecessor Jason-1.

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  16. CALIPSO switches to back-up laser

    Publishing date:

    May 7, 2009

    After 3 years operating flawlessly, the French-US satellite’s laser has failed. This contingency had been expected and CALIPSO has successfully switched to its back-up laser.

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  17. IASI to acquire new data for weather forecasting

    Publishing date:

    May 31, 2006

    Europe’s weather forecasting system is set to benefit soon from a new series of spacecraft, with the 1st of the MetOp satellites set for launch on 17 July. Its payload includes IASI1, an instrument developed by CNES that will acquire highly accurate vertical profiles of the atmosphere for the 1st time.

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  18. Argos – Tracking elephant seals to understand the Southern Ocean

    Publishing date:

    April 14, 2009

    Using specially designed Argos transmitters, an international team of researchers has been tracking elephant seals in their feeding grounds, gathering unique information about the Southern Ocean in the process.

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  19. COROT all set to begin science mission

    Publishing date:

    December 27, 2006

    After opening its protective cap and acquiring its 1st image 2 weeks ago, COROT is now in fine-pointing mode, the last crucial step before it starts returning science data.

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  20. New chapter opening for Cospas-Sarsat

    Publishing date:

    January 21, 2009

    20 years after its inception, a new chapter is opening for the international Cospas-Sarsat satellite search-and-rescue programme. On 1 February, it will be making the final transition to 406-MHz locator beacons and 4 days later a new Sarsat-3 instrument will be launched on the U.S. NOAA-N' satellite.

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